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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



    More to UA than Olson

    To be honest, I never quite understood the cult of Lute Olson. I always thought it had as much to do with Olson’s charisma as his accomplishments. Let’s be honest: Would we have made such a fuss over him if he’d been a stout, bearded, dweeby-looking guy instead of a dapper, silver-haired gentleman? I also grew weary of hearing that he’d “”made”” this university, that Lute Olson and his accomplishments were the only thing worth noting about the UA. This line grew especially weary in the last two years, when Olson’s erratic behavior became downright embarrassing. I know we ought to focus on the positive stuff: how Olson single-handedly transformed the Wildcats from a feeble band of amateurs into a force to reckoned with. But he could have gone out at the top with dignity instead of stumbling out the door after realizing, belatedly, what the rest of us realized long ago: It’s time to retire. Unfortunately, we probably share some of the blame for this. We heaped so much praise on Olson and cherished such unrealistic expectations of him that we all but bullied him into staying. At least he came to his senses before the rest of us did.

    – Justyn Dillingham is the opinions editor of the Daily Wildcat.

    Olson retirement shocks, saddens UA community

    It’s a day many of us have dreaded but long expected: Lute Olson has retired. Nonetheless, it’s a surprise. The 74-year-old Olson leaves the UA with an incredible record of 589-187 over 24 seasons. But with Lute gone, where does that leave the basketball team for this season? Will the Wildcats ever shine as brightly as they have under the iconic Lute? Is my ZonaZoo basketball pass worth a damn with him gone? Can I get a refund? Lute’s departure leaves many unanswered questions, and UA officials are paralyzed when it comes to offering us answers. But there are a few certainties. There will be a feeding frenzy for Lute’s recruits, and they are likely to head for greener pastures. As a consequence, our program will falter into mediocrity in seasons to come. This news obliterates hope for a drama-free season, so settle in for yet another roller-coaster ride. It’s too bad the end of an era looks so unlike the golden years. So long, Lute, and all the best.

    – Justin Huggins is a senior majoring
    in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    Let Lute leave in peace
    UA men’s basketball head coach Lute Olson is retiring, devastating much of the UA population. For 25 years, Lute has strengthened the basketball team and prepared his players for impressive lasting careers in sports. As great an asset to the UA as he is, he deserves to break away from Wildcat basketball if he’s exhausted and interested in closing this chapter of his life. At 74, he rightfully has to worry about his own well-being, health and happiness rather than the best interests of UA sports. He’s been coaching various teams for 52 years, so why berate him for wanting to enjoy downtime for once? He filed for divorce and took a brief leave of absence less than a year ago, so he has probably been ready to slow down for quite some time. As he said at a press conference Tuesday, “”Everything is a year-to-year situation. The health, the energy, how well you communicate with the kids.”” The UA will be losing a phenomenal coach, but after all he’s done for UA sports, we should be grateful for his contributions instead of angry with his personal decision to move on.

    -ÿLaura Donovan is a creative writing junior.

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